Loudoun Schools to End Rankings with the Class of 2025

The race to the top of the class will come to an end starting with next year’s freshman class.

The Loudoun County School Board on Tuesday voted to replace class rankings with the Latin honors system. Starting in 2025, graduates in the top 5% of their class will earn a summa cum laude designation. Those in the top 6-10% will be magna cum laude and 11-20% cum laude. There won’t be valedictorians or salutatorians.

The action follows regional and national trends away from class rankings, which administrators say have a declining impact with college admissions offices. By moving to a tiered system, school division leaders hope to reduce student stress, encourage course exploration, and improve mental health. 

The change had been proposed to take effect with next year’s rising juniors, but Atoosa Reaser (Algonkian) won support in a 6-3 vote to push the implementation back to incoming freshmen. The majority of School Board members said high schoolers already are experiencing too much change and uncertainty as classes have moved online during the pandemic and they didn’t want to add more into that mix. 

On the dissenting side, Beth Barts (Leesburg), Denise Corbo (At Large) and Harris Mahedavi (Dulles) advocated making the change as soon as practical, noting that class ranks aren’t calculated until students enter their junior years. 

Jeff Morse (Dulles) cast the lone vote against making the change from class rankings. He was worried about students who would fall just below a cut line and be grouped into a lower category. And, he said, the Latin honors system likely would do little to reduce stress of students competing to perform at the top of the class.

6 thoughts on “Loudoun Schools to End Rankings with the Class of 2025

  • 2020-10-28 at 3:47 pm

    This is a bad decision for the students, they have nothing to work hard for and nothing to motivate them. The Board of Education is derelict in their duties, shame on everyone except Jeff Morse. He is the only one who understands how bad this decision is for our students and their future. I guess next we will give everyone a diploma regardless of whether they show up for class and regardless if what their grades are. Loudoun County Public Schools where making everyone feel good is our only priority. I hope the smart parents will move their kids to private schools. Now, more than ever, we need school vouchers.

  • 2020-10-28 at 4:39 pm


    The School Board is patting themselves on the back for this poor decision.

    Another data point for the destruction of Loudoun education.

  • 2020-10-28 at 4:58 pm

    Under Dr. Hatrick LCPS was easily one of the very best school systems in the USA. As this school board pushes towards a pass/fail environment (without anyone actually failing) I wonder if they will stop considering the difficulty of certain classes like (AP and AOS). Unfortunately, this type of “competition is bad” approach for public school will drive more and more families to smartly choose charter and private schooling and eventually stop supporting the multi-billion school budget. How is moving toward a social awareness mode instead of teaching student competency helping graduates get hired after college or right after high school for a trade? Parents need to insist on participating in the performance evaluations of LCPS staff or their children may suffer the consequences even though an extremely high property tax rate was paid! 🙂

  • 2020-10-28 at 7:16 pm

    Does this come with a tax increase?

    These people are insane! Keep it up. I’m all for getting education out of government hands.

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